THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
March 5, 2022 at 16:30 JST
Protesters against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine march in Tokyo’s Shibuya Ward on March 5. (The Asahi Shimbun)
Hundreds of people marched in Tokyo on Saturday protesting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The crowd shouted, “Stop war. Protect lives.” Some held signs that read: “We stand with Ukraine.” Others held images of Russian President Vladimir Putin with the words: “Stop Putin.”
Russia’s shelling of a nuclear plant in Ukraine on Friday and Putin’s implied threat of nuclear war have struck a nerve in Japan, which suffered atomic attacks at the end of World War II in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as the worst nuclear catastrophe since Chernobyl in Fukushima in 2011.
“It’s too terrible,” said housewife Yukiko Asano, one of the protesters.
The protest, one of the largest in Tokyo in recent years, included people from Europe and spiraled through the fashionable Omotesando district, extending for blocks. Many wore yellow and blue, the colors of Ukraine's flag.
“We need to stop Putin. We need to end the dictatorship,” said a Russian software engineer, who asked to be identified only by his first name Egor to avoid backlash. “This kind of situation is a way to nowhere.”
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